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Tasty event raises $1,000

November 08, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

While it was nice that Miss Washington County Alaina Rowe and other pageant winners were at the Taste of Washington County on Sunday, William Phillips said the real draw for him was the variety of good food.

"I came for the food, not to meet the queens," said Phillips, of Middletown, Md. "I enjoyed watching the beauties walk by as I chowed down."

Phillips and his wife, Joann, were two of an estimated 150 people who attended the Taste of Washington County event at the Plaza Hotel.

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The Phillipses said a Hagerstown friend invited them to Sunday's event, which they enjoyed.

"It was very nice. The food was wonderful," Joann Phillips said.

Both said they sampled at least one item from each of the 11 businesses providing food at the event.

This is the second year Miss Washington County/Miss Western Maryland Scholarship Foundation, the local part of the Miss America Program, has held the event.

The profits from this year's event will go to the foundation and REACH, Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless, said Denise Apple, executive director of the Miss Washington County Scholarship Foundation. Each year a different needy organization will receive some of the profits, she said.

Apple said she expected Sunday's event to raise about $1,000.

Sitting at another nearby table, Kathy Leis of Hagerstown was sampling the food, which she praised. The event provides a way to get a sense for the type of food sold at area businesses, she said.

Rowe applauded the event, saying it is an enjoyable way to help two worthy causes.

Last year, about 100 people attended the event, which featured nine businesses offering food, Apple said.

This year's crowd was smaller than the 200 people she hoped for but still more than last year, Apple said. The hope is that, over time, the attendance level will continue to increase, she said.

"It takes a while to grow these things," said Jan Dorsey, a foundation board member.

Door prizes and a silent auction also were held, Dorsey said.

"Everybody is having a good time," Dorsey said.

William Phillips said he thought the good weather may have hurt attendance.

"If it had rained, it would have been packed. Weather moves people," he said.

Sitting at the event, Terri Baker, executive director of REACH, said she thought it was great that the foundation decided to give some of the profits to REACH.

Dorsey, president of the Washington County Council of Churches, said she suggested REACH get some of the profits to help with costs as it moves into the former Cannon Shoe Factory on the corner of West Franklin and Prospect streets. In past years, the REACH Cold Weather Shelter rotated among area churches.

Every dollar donated counts, Baker said.

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